How to Choose a Real Estate Lawyer in Nova Scotia: 4 Tried and True Tips
If you are planning to buy or sell a property in Nova Scotia, you will need to hire a real estate lawyer to help you with the legal aspects of the transaction. A real estate lawyer can advise you on your rights and obligations, draft and review contracts and documents, handle title searches and transfers, deal with any issues or disputes that may arise, and represent you in court if necessary.
But how do you choose a real estate lawyer that suits your needs and budget? Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.
4 Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
1. Ask for recommendations
One of the best ways to find a reliable and experienced real estate lawyer is to ask for referrals from your friends, family, colleagues, or other professionals who have used their services before. You can also check online reviews and ratings from previous clients to get an idea of their reputation and quality of work.
2. Do your research
Before you contact any potential lawyers, do some background research on their qualifications, credentials, experience, and areas of expertise. You can check their websites, social media profiles, blogs, or online directories to find out more about them. Have they worked on many cases like yours? Perhaps the property you are purchasing is new construction or a rural cottage. Is your purchase a land only transaction? You will want someone with experience in the type of property you are purchasing or selling.
3. Compare fees and services
Real estate lawyers may charge different fees depending on the complexity and scope of the transaction, the location and size of the property, the amount of time and work involved, or other factors. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee for the entire process, while others may charge an hourly rate or a percentage of the purchase price. You should ask for an estimate of the fees and services before you hire any lawyer, and compare them with other options to find the best value for your money. See below for some of the common fees associated with property transactions.
4. Trust your instincts
Finally, you should trust your gut feeling when choosing a real estate lawyer. You want someone who is knowledgeable, professional, honest, and responsive to your needs and concerns. You also want someone who is compatible with your style and preferences, and who can explain things clearly and patiently to you. If you have any doubts or reservations about a lawyer, it may be better to look for another one.
Choosing a real estate lawyer can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you can find a lawyer who can help you achieve your goals and protect your interests in any real estate transaction.
If you are currently on your search for a real estate lawyer, we’d love to introduce ourselves. We are Brookshire Law Office and Alan Freckelton is our real estate lawyer. You can read more about Alan on our team page. Our firm believes in making law accessible, and part of this is offering flat fees where we can. You can visit our real estate page to view our current real estate flat fees.
More about fees
You may notice we mention our flat fees and then say “plus expenses”. The flat fee is the portion of the payment made to the lawyer for their service as your lawyer. Additional expenses that vary by property are expenses such as:
- Property taxes owed for the remainder of the year of purchase
- Deed transfer tax paid to the municipality, who will set the deed transfer tax. It is typically a percentage of the sale price or assessed value, whichever is higher (to a maximum of 1.5%) A list of the current deed transfer tax rates can be found here.
- Registering a change of ownership with property online (Currently $100)
- Registering an incoming mortgage with property online if you are a buyer (Currently $100) or register a mortgage discharge with property online if you are a seller (Currently $100)
- The cost of a full tank of oil or propane if present (dependant on market value for the volume of the tank)
- HST if you are purchasing a new build home from a developer (Currently 15%)
- Some lenders will want title insurance (Typically around $200)
These are some of the common expenses that are paid through the lawyer, not to the lawyer, so will show up on our bill to you.
If you have questions about what to expect from these other expenses for your individual situation, you can call our office to set up an appointment.
The above is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice — contact a lawyer to discuss your personal circumstances and learn your options.
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